The Rise of Technology in Healthcare & HI Professionals’ Integral Role
Posted Tuesday August 23, 2016 5:18 PM - MacVicar-Elliott, RoseMary
By Keval Ranparia, COACH Emerging Professional Member
For quite a long time, medical records were captured, stored and shared in paper and films. The rise of information technology in healthcare has enabled more effective and efficient medical record transactions. Now the healthcare industry is looking forward to converting electronic data from these records into meaningful information in order to make innovative changes in the healthcare system.
As an avid health informatics (HI) emerging professional (EP), I wanted to understand the nature of this paradigm shift and the role of EPs in it. In a recent conversation with Dr. Aviv Gladman (pictured below), I gained insight about the upheaval around implementing technology in healthcare and the resulting disruptive changes. As Chief Medical Information Officer with Mackenzie Health, Dr. Gladman has a critical care clinical practice and is a thought leader. He is a graduate of Engineering Science and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto with expertise in intelligent workflow automation, the Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT), clinician engagement and disruptive change. Here are some ideas based on my discussion with Dr. Gladman.
Technological advancement has not made the same impact in healthcare compared to other industries, partly because of the complexity of healthcare organizations and systems and partly because of the inherent resistance to automation. However, in recent years, technology has been significantly involved in healthcare due to population growth, staffing shortages and the demand for high-quality care. Government policy changes have also helped hospitals push the innovation agenda at the organizational level. Technological advances in electronic medical records (EMRs) are allowing them to have better interoperability within different departments. In addition, the IoHT is fundamentally changing the delivery of healthcare by unifying communications and information exchange in unprecedented ways and by delivering the right information and resources at the right time to the point of care.
LEAN and Agile
The biggest challenge in healthcare lies in implementation of new technology in a heterogeneous system. The key to success is to make changes, not just in technology, but also in process improvement and implementation strategies. For example, in order to improve the delivery of healthcare, Mackenzie Health has adapted the LEAN methodology, which has been widely successful in many other industries. Historically, other industries have adopted a “top-down” approach, where top management with subject matter experts drives the process of change and is responsible for adapting culture for the LEAN methodology. However, in healthcare, it is wise to adapt a “bottom-to-top” approach by including representatives from all departments on a steering committee to drive the change, as the requirement for change comes from all the different factions of the organization.
The method that is widely used in healthcare IT product development is the “Agile” methodology, which empowers end users to take control of the software development process by providing recommendations on each sprint of Agile. Out-of-the-box thinking about implementing well-established methodologies such as LEAN and Agile in a customized manner to fit the healthcare setting has enabled initiatives such as the Mackenzie Health “Time and Motion Study” to happen. This study involves collecting data from smart beds and hand hygiene devices for statistical analysis to improve workflow efficiency.
Collaboration, Innovators & HI Professionals
The primary focus on patient-centric health delivery at most healthcare organizations can make it difficult to focus on technological innovation. Collaboration with industry innovators can help organizations implement innovation projects efficiently by allowing them to define clinical problems and provide a platform for innovators to implement the right technology with systematic process. HI professionals are integral to this collaboration. Skilled in information technology, business processes and medical workflow, they enable medical technology procurement and its maintenance.
“HI professionals need to be provided with a platform where they can work with clinical staff to understand the ground-level reality and clinical workflow." said Dr. Gladman. "Professionals can acquire knowledge of information technology and business process management by taking courses available in market. However, to understand clinical workflow, professionals have to work in a hospital setting with clinical staff.”
About Mackenzie Health
Mackenzie Health is a regional healthcare provider serving a population of over a half million people in Southwest York Region and beyond. Mackenzie Health includes Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital, the future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital and a comprehensive network of community-based services in Richmond Hill, Vaughan and the surrounding communities. An award-winning organization, Mackenzie Health has been nationally and provincially recognized with: Accreditation with Exemplary Standing, Stroke Distinction Accreditation, Innovation Award for Healthcare Leadership, National Healthcare Safety Award, National Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) Best Practice Spotlight Designation, and Gold Quality Healthcare Workplace Award.
EP Volunteers Wanted: If you’re in the first five years of your HI career, polish your skills and grow your network by blogging for COACH Speaks, hosting events and more with COACH. To get started, please complete the Emerging Professionals Call for Involvement Application and contact the team, firstname.lastname@example.org, for details.
HI Education: To learn more about the topics discussed in this blog, check out the COACH Webinar Wednesdays and the CPHIMS-CA Virtual Preparation Course.
Last Updated Wednesday August 24, 2016 4:21 PM - MacVicar-Elliott, RoseMary
My e-Spin on the e-Health Conference: Winning Deal of Fortune
Posted Wednesday July 20, 2016 10:30 AM - MacVicar-Elliott, RoseMary
By Gurprit Randhawa, BSc, MSc, PhD(c) Health Informatics
Gurprit is a Program Coordinator for a provincial quality improvement program at Island Health in Victoria, BC. She is also a Health Informatics Instructor at McMaster University and the 2016 Steven Huesing Scholarship recipient.
Can I buy a vowel to spell "wow"? Actually, I would most definitely need to buy all of the vowels to describe my exceptional experience at the e-Health 2016 Conference in Vancouver, BC from June 5-8, 2016. My conference experience was no less than being a bonus round winner on the Wheel of Fortune. For full effect, please imagine Vanna White turning each of the letters below.
Throughout the conference, I was struck by the enthusiastic passion to advance health informatics (HI) that was demonstrated by delegates, volunteers, speakers and COACH staff; I am deeply grateful for their infectious and inspiring energy. My interactions with these individuals truly reinforced the theme of the conference: Reimagining Healthcare Delivery in Canada. As a result, I have a renewed vision for the role we all play as health informaticians in redesigning the Canadian healthcare system.
From the Welcome Reception to the e-Health Fun Run, and various networking mixers, Canadian Health Informatics Awards Gala and after parties, I enjoyed all the good company, food and fun tremendously. Without a doubt, the photo contest at the COACH booth and various exhibitor games (with prizes) were entertaining additions to the conference. I am afraid the memory of colleagues disco dancing at the Blues night may be forever etched in my mind!
With 122 concurrent sessions, 61 e-posters, 12 panel discussions and six plenary sessions, there was definitely no shortage of intellectual stimulation at the conference. In fact, I was constantly in a HI "knowledge wonderland." The great variety of topics covered allowed me to customize my learning plan to my professional, academic and research needs. Moreover, my discoveries from the conference have further informed and fuelled my current and future projects. The conference provided the perfect environment for planting and fostering the intellectual seeds of innovation in the minds of HI professionals.
Sweeping mountains, ocean views and beautiful beaches – what more could one ask for in a conference location? Attending the conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre was a sure treat. Having 30 degree weather in early June was also an unexpected and unforgettable surprise.
The highly supportive environment of the e-Health conference truly brought everyone together as one big HI family. I strongly felt the conference was about "us," our needs, and how "we" plan to work together closely to build our reimagined future. Now is our moment – I am eager to seize it with my other HI family members. As the saying goes, "Make hay while the sun shines."
e-Health 2016 Photo Gallery
e-Health 2017: To stay up-to-date with plans for next year’s conference, sign up for email through the "Newsletter" link on the e-Health site. Circle June 4 -7, 2017 for e-Health 2017 in Toronto and watch for the call for presenters – abstracts will be invited this fall!
EPs: Blogs, White Papers, Event Hosting & More! If you are a COACH member in the first five years of your HI career, there are many amazing opportunities, like writing a COACH Speaks blog, to network, learn and engage with other professionals through your association. To get started, please complete the Emerging Professionals Call for Involvement Application and contact the team, email@example.com, for details.
Last Updated Wednesday July 20, 2016 11:19 AM - MacVicar-Elliott, RoseMary
Why Earn Your CPHIMS-CA Credential?
Posted Friday June 3, 2016 4:00 PM - MacVicar-Elliott, RoseMary
Note: Hafsa Qureshi Grymek prepared this interview as part of the COACH eHIP: Emerging Health Informatics Professionals Forum column for the June HIM&CC Journal. Read more interviews about COACH EP members who are earning their CPHIMS-CA credential in the column.
By Ann Chou
After being immersed in a data-centric world as a medical technologist for over eight years and observing enabling technology in evidence-based healthcare, Ann decided to switch to the IT side. Still holding an academic interest in data visualization, Ann currently works as a Clinical Application Analyst providing technical expertise on clinical IT solutions and delivering operation projects with Island Health in British Columbia.
I was excited when our director decided to sponsor my colleagues and I to earn the CPHIMS-CA credential prior to a strategic upgrade in 2014. For me, it was the opportunity to sharpen and extend my professional competency as a health informatics (HI) professional from regional criteria to globally respected criteria. CPHIMS-CA is a single credential that could bridge my clinical background as medical technologist, my combined bachelor’s degree in HI and Computer Science and my work at Island Health in clinical application support and analysis.
For my employer, it was an opportunity to raise the bar and guarantee consistency of skills and knowledge for all personnel involved in initiatives and continuous operation for e-Health and clinical systems, across the team and departmental silos.
For some, this opportunity might not be easy, so I offer some exam preparation tips. In my experience, I found the CPHIMS Candidate Handbook and CPHIMS-CA Canadian (CA) Exam Candidate Handbook were the first and best sources for exam preparation. At a minimum, download both handbooks to become familiar with the exam content outlines and evaluate your own knowledge in each category. If you are a student completing a HI program, you can probably easily pass both exams without further study. However, if you have been out of school for a while or come from a different educational background, such as general IT or a clinical area with no IT training, you may have to study harder, beginning at least 10 weeks prior to your exam.
The CPHIMS practice exam, available to purchase from the HIMSS website, is another useful resource for studying. The official study guides are also useful, but do not cover all questions in the exams. You should follow the exam content outline and review the content closely. If you find that the information is new, then you should at least Google the concept and study an example that illustrates that concept. If you are unable to commit time, then I suggest joining an exam preparation class or forming a series of study sessions with your colleagues, similar to what my organization did at Island Health.
In the end, getting CPHIMS-CA-certified is a straightforward means to continuing professional development and networking with those who care about and are committed to providing quality healthcare within the HI industry.
For more information about the credential and CPHIMS-CA education and study guides, visit CPHIMS-CA or contact Christina Vertesi.
Last Updated Friday June 3, 2016 4:22 PM - MacVicar-Elliott, RoseMary
People: Powerful Healthcare Allies
Posted Thursday March 31, 2016 4:25 PM - MacVicar-Elliott, RoseMary
Daniel Penn is a COACH member and CEO/Co-Founder at Shift Health.
Before the healthcare industry existed, an individual who fell ill sought help from a healer, shaman, nurse or doctor. From this simple transaction, healthcare has evolved into a unique industry. It now involves broad and complex organizations with standards and outcomes where "average" is often considered a failure and failure can be fatal. Very few industries have stakes as high as this. As such, we need the smartest, best trained professionals to make sure that no mistakes are made.
In theory, the smartest, best trained doctors with the best tools available would equate to success. However, this is the not the feeling that many have about the industry. There could be many reasons for this, but I believe it is because we have constructed a top-down industry and forgotten about who it was really built for: People.
It seems the industry has awoken and is beginning to embrace the attitude that patients are people who can be powerful allies in improving outcomes and reducing costs. This basic realization has the potential to have the single largest impact on healthcare for the next generation, but like many paradigm shifts, change won’t be easy to implement.
What has excited me most about healthcare is this cultural shift where most organization's missions are beginning to call for a patient-centric healthcare model; care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs and values and ensures that these guide all clinical decisions.
We are already seeing this beginning to take place.
- Co-Creation Development: Most vendors and larger healthcare organizations are adopting this methodology where processes, technologies and engagements are built with input from multiple stakeholders. Patients, designers and healthcare providers come together to solve problems, building something that everyone will want to use, not just have to use.
- Patient Empathy: The move towards collecting patient experience measures during and after their care journey is providing organizations with the ability to empathize with and understand their patient population. It can help healthcare organizations make decisions that are based upon the values of the patients.
It is incredible to witness patients going out of their way to become more involved in their care. As an industry it is now our turn to, not only engage, but to listen and respond, or we risk alienating the biggest ally the healthcare industry has: People.
Last Updated Thursday March 31, 2016 4:21 PM - MacVicar-Elliott, RoseMary
Reimagining Healthcare – Connecting Care at e-Health '16 Sunday Symposium!
Posted Thursday March 10, 2016 10:55 AM - MacVicar-Elliott, RoseMary
Meet the Bloggers: Kimberly Harvey is Director, Integration Services with the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Susan Sepa is Group Director, Clinical System Interoperability with Canada Health Infoway. Grant Gillis is Executive Director, Forums & Practices with COACH: Canada’s Health Informatics Association.
One of the exciting new features of the upcoming e-Health 2016 Conference is the Sunday Symposium on June 5!
Collaboratively brought to you by COACH, Canada Health Infoway and CIHI, the new Sunday Symposium program is designed to offer something for everyone in Canada’s health informatics community, including clinicians, administrators, analysts, vendors, government agencies, regulatory authorities, academics, researchers and students!
Themed as “Reimagining Healthcare – Connecting Care,” this year’s Sunday Symposium features renowned national and international experts presenting on the newest integration tools and their positive impact on clinical workflow and practice. Join us and understand the latest experiences of leading digital health developers and users towards connecting care for optimal patient outcomes!
- Dr. Joshua Mandel, Harvard Medical School (top right), on “Novel Integration Tools for Clinicians in a Healthcare Setting – Experiences from Boston Children’s Hospital”
- Duane Bender (right), and Gavin Tong (right, third down) on “Improving Real-World Clinical Systems – The Canadian Engagement”
Also featured in the program are participative workshops offered by Infoway, COACH and CIHI on the topics of clinical requirements in electronic solutions, virtual care best practices and data to action for health system improvement.
The Sunday Symposium also offers collegial opportunities, so you can look forward to renewing old friendships and making new ones at the networking luncheon. The luncheon will once again host the Dr. Mo Watanabe Honorary Lecture, with this year’s speaker, Eyrin Tedesco, Senior Clinical Lead of the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) Telehealth Expansion Project,, presenting on the growth and success of the FNHA telehealth program in British Columbia!
With the program set to offer several different accreditations, your time spent at the Sunday Symposium will not only be personally rewarding, but also professionally educating!
Mark this page on your browser and watch for all sorts of social media in the weeks ahead to let you know the latest in program updates!
Visit the e-Health 2016 website for more information about the Sunday Symposium.
Last Updated Thursday March 10, 2016 5:18 PM - MacVicar-Elliott, RoseMary